In a matter of four days, Chelsea have suffered two biggest defeats of their 2021/2022 campaign.
Hitherto, the Thomas Tuchel side have maintained hunger for successes this season, despite their exploits last term, winning the UEFA Champions League months after the German took charge at Stamford Bridge. This term, they triumphed over Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup, and went to Qatar to win the FIFA Club World Cup back in January.
The Blues are the only club in England who have stayed in touch with high flyers, Manchester City and Liverpool, where Manchester United and Arsenal are busy fooling around without ambition. The club appeared to shrug off the manner ownership was taken away from Roman Abramovich in February.
But it is looking as though the prolonged battle to find a passionate buyer like Abramovich, is taking forever and having its toll.
The club had failed to reach agreement with key players; Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Aspilicueta and Andreas Christensen,
before the crackdown on its former owner, part of which barred the club from signing new players or renewing existing deals; a fall out of which they have now reportedly lost Christensen to Barcelona.
Few days ago, Sissi, wife of the club’s German head coach left her 13-year-old marriage to him. This was said to be connected to Tuchel still working at Chelsea, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The woman was said to have resigned her position as a journalist at a newspaper establishment in Germany and immediately commenced divorce proceedings against the 48-year-old.
The manner at which the club fell to struggling Brentford 1-4 at the Stamford Bridge in the Premier League last Saturday, was unlike Chelsea. Ordinarily, it would have been a complete devouring!
The London side have not conceded four goals in 90 minutes of any competition since the former Paris Saint-German manager replaced Frank Lampard in January 2021. However, they unusually capitulated against The Bees and got stung four times in the second-half alone.
The unimpressive display against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal clash at home on Wednesday, further underlines what could be the untold effect of recent off-field challenges.
Uncharacteristic defending and error by unarguably the best goalkeeper in Europe, Edouard Mendy, summed Chelsea’s frustration on the rainy night. They have a mountain to climb in next week’s return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, and shouldn’t be ignorant that other teams in the league are coveting the third spot they currently occupy.
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Ashaolu Olufemi is a graduate of mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic, and also a member of NIPR. His love for media and writing has become stronger with experience over the years.